The Last Ride Together

by Robert Browning

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Student Question

Why does the lover in "The Last Ride Together" think his riding is superior?

Quick answer:

The lover in "The Last Ride Together" believes his riding is superior because, through his experiences, he has learned that love is timeless and incomparable in value. Love itself is its own ultimate reward, surpassing the achievements in art, statesmanship, and warfare, and ultimately leading to Heaven.

Expert Answers

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In Browning's poem, his ultimate message is that the things he discusses in the poem, art, statesmanship, and fighting (in a war...a soldier) have disproportionate results (  However, love has a greater result...Heaven itself.  Love is all-encompassing and everlasting and the ultimate reward of love is Heaven.  Also, love is its OWN ultimate reward, as well (  The line "My riding is better, by their leave" means that the narrator of the poem has learned by from the various experiences in life that nothing can compare to love in its value because love is timeless and should be celebrated because it is its own reward.

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